Gambian defender Pa Kujabi has signalled his commitment to Hibs after he turned down the opportunity to represent his country in an important qualifying match.
Kujabi revealed to the Evening News that his priority is to continue establishing himself at Easter Road and to help the club he joined in January out of a relegation scrap after he spurned the opportunity to join up with Gambia for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria tonight.
Scorpions boss Bonou Johnson had hoped to call upon the services of the Hibs left-back, but Kujabi called off after being denied the opportunity to return in time to train at East Mains on the eve of Saturday’s clash with St Mirren. “I was supposed to go, but it’s personal between me and the manager of the team,” said Kujabi, who represented Gambia in their last game, against Burkina Faso in October, and has won 15 caps in all. “My return to Edinburgh is on Friday, and on Saturday we’re playing. I love my country, and I want to play for them. But, it’s a very funny situation that I’m new here, and this club is also in a bad position. I’m not saying, ‘If I stay here, we’re going to win’, but I want to be part and help Hibs.”
Kujabi’s return ticket for travel between Edinburgh and Banjul, Gambia’s capital, will now remain unused, with the 25-year-old concerned about becoming too “exhausted” to play for Hibs on Saturday. He said: “They want me to play for the national team, like I do, but the return [date] is the issue here. I don’t know why they booked that [Friday] flight. I hope it’s not going to be a problem – I hope they just understand. I want to play for Hibs, I want to play for my country also, 100 per cent.”
Elsewhere, Ivan Sproule joins Isaiah Osbourne in missing the Edinburgh derby on March 18 after the Hibs winger received his sixth booking of the season against Motherwell last week.
Hibs youngster Jordon Forster, 18, made his debut for Berwick Rangers against Peterhead last night after joining the Third Division side on a month’s loan.
Hibs’ trip to Inverness will now kick off at 3pm on Sunday, April 1 for live broadcast by ESPN having initially been scheduled for midday.